To Hack Or Not To Hack

To Hack Or Not To Hack? Look at them, sitting there unscathed like small children. The poor unsuspecting file server and its accompanying network of computers are just inviting the lonely hacker in. Hacking is an art generally performed by deft hands and quick minds. True hackers are few. The term hacker was an epithet given to computer geeks in the days when computers were an uncommon commodity.

These computer gurus were said to hack away at the keyboard all day. The public view of hackers is bad but far from the truth. The public views all hackers as social outcasts who break into computers and destroy them by exposing sensitive information or spreading virii everywhere. This is technically wrong, as this definition is known to the digital underground as a Cracker. Every true hacker’s ultimate goal is knowledge.

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Any possible means may be used to obtain that, including many illegal ones. On the other hand, a cracker breaks into computer systems for the sheer joy of destruction and confusion. People like this should be put behind bars. I am not a bad hacker and expose these holes to help the Administrators minimize future attacks. Recently, I have found dozens of college servers holding web sites that just scream to be defaced by hackers worse than me. They are running an older version of Microsoft FrontPage extensions. This shows us one of two problems with the System Administrators: either they are too lazy to update their software, or they are too ignorant to know how. As System Administrators, their job is to constantly update the server to maintain its security.

If they fail, they should not have the job. It is up to good hackers like me to show them these vulnerabilities to minimize the damage done. Using the vulnerabilities in this older version of the FrontPage software, I gained access to the Wyoming University’s password file and ultimately gained access to that server. I added a small link to the bottom of this web page saying hello. When the link was clicked, it would email me. This infuriated this particular System Administrator to the point that he was ready to prosecute me.

He emailed me saying that he was going to prosecute me to the maximum extent possible under the law. Because I left no log of what I did, I told him he couldnt prosecute me because he couldnt find me. Then I emailed him telling him how to fix this vulnerability in the older version of FrontPage. If he had simply performed his job and updated his software, this would have never happened. This is just an example of one of the unsuspecting fileservers open to hackers. If some other had have found this before me, it could have been ugly. As System Administrators, your job is to maintain and secure the network. This incident could have been avoided altogether by simply downloading and installing the update from the Microsoft web site.

Please take this advice and update your software. Thank you for your time. Bibliography none Computers and Internet Essays.